Evaluation of Chelex 100 and Assessing the Impact of Fulvic Acid (NOM) on Copper Toxicity and Bioavailability to Americamysis bahia
Postlethwait, Niel Holland
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A cation exchange method (Chelex 100) that distinguishes weakly bound and strongly bound copper was investigated for its ability to measure bioavailable copper in estuarine waters. Copper bound to the Chelex 100 resin was operationally defined as bioavailable copper. Varying initial copper concentration from 195 to 495 ug/L at a constant 12.5 mg/L natural organic matter (NOM) did not affect percent bioavailability. There were also no noticeable effects when varying total Cu concentration in the presence of 0, 12, and 24 mg/L NOM. An increase in pH from 4 to 8.5 and NOM from 0 mg/L to 12.5 mg/L reduced percent bioavailability. Using the Chelex 100 resin to measure bioavailable copper, about 20 to 40% of the total copper was bioavailable in the absence of NOM, while about 15 to 20% was bioavailable when either 12 or 24 mg/L NOM was present. Acute toxicity bioassays were performed with mysid shrimp (Americamysis bahia) to evaluate the toxic effects of copper in the presence of Suwannee River Fulvic Acid, which served as a source of NOM. Static or static renewal tests, based on EPA method OPPTS 850.1035 with a minimum of 10 mysid shrimp per test condition, were used to determine the LC50 and EC50 of copper and the effects of NOM. Test solutions consisted of artificial synthetic seawater at 20 parts per thousand containing concentrations of 0, 100, 200, 400, 800 ug/L copper with either 0, 12, 24 mg/L NOM. Forty-eight hour acute toxicity tests were performed on larval (2 to 3 day) mysid shrimp that were fed Artemia (brine shrimp); mortality and immobilization were the endpoints. The 48 hour LC50 was 200 ug/L dissolved Cu and 94 ug/L bioavailable Cu without NOM, 340 ug/L dissolved Cu and 98 ug/L bioavailable Cu when 12 mg/L NOM was present, and 495 ug/L dissolved Cu and 105 ug/L bioavailable Cu at 24 mg/L NOM. The consistency of the LC50 measurement using bioavailable Cu suggest that the Chelex 100 resin is a useful technique for toxicity analysis in saline water.
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